Pope said that Otsego 2000 defines the environment in broad terms to include not just wildlife and wilderness, but historic buildings, local agriculture and a sustainable economy as well.
In keeping with this conception, Otsego 2000 founded the Cooperstown Farmers Market in 1991, a year round farmer’s market that they still administer.
She said that the goal Otsego 2000 had for the festival was for it to grow and be a yearly, self-sustaining event, akin to the Glimmerglass Festival.
“It’s been really heartwarming to work with the community on this,” said Pope, who said that the reception amongst local business people and residents to the festival has been good.
Otsego 2000 agreed to provide up to $11,000 of seed money for the festival this May. Pope says that the remaining money to put the festival on was raised from sponsors and that $10,000 to $11,000 was donated. She also said that some businesses donated in kind services.
The festival received no grant funding this year.
Two of the festival’s sponsors, the Otsego Land Trust and Brewery Ommegang, are sponsoring films at the festival. “Chasing Ice,” is being sponsored by the Otsego Land Trust and “Drill Baby Drill,” is being sponsored by Brewery Ommegang.
“We like to partner with the other conservation organizations in the region,” said Virginia Kennedy, executive director of the Otsego Land Trust, when asked why they had decided to be a sponsor for the film festival.
She also praised Otsego 2000’s goal of bringing more people to the area and trying to foster a sustainable economy.
“We are very much on board with that,” she said.
As for why they agreed to sponsor “Chasing Ice,” Kennedy cited the importance of the climate change issue.
“Climate change is the single biggest environmental challenge facing people today,” she said.
“We’ve done a lot of work with them (Otsego 2000) on their anti-hydrofracking stuff,” said Larry Bennett, public relations and creative service manager at Brewery Ommegang, on why the brewery had decided to get involved with the festival.